Get on with it
THE GOVERNMENT AND AUCKLAND COUNCIL should “just get on with it” when it comes to instituting congestion charging or road pricing in Auckland.
at’s the view of the Road Transport Forum – reacting to the announcement last month that the council and Government have agreed on the establishment of a project to investigate “smarter transport pricing” in Auckland. is could include congestion charging.
RTF chief executive Ken Shirley says that, while the announcement to begin investigating road pricing options for Auckland is “a step in the right direction and the road transport industry welcomes it…. the fact that any decision on pricing options is still some years o is enormously frustrating.
“e advice of the road transport industry is: ‘Let’s just get on with it.’ Auckland is severely hamstrung by its appalling congestion issues, which are now having a signi cant impact on freight movements across the entire country.
“Road pricing through congestion charging or a similar scheme is an absolutely critical tool to helping alleviate the city’s tra c.
“We know that a high proportion of peak-time tra c in Auckland is single-occupancy cars. Road pricing in other parts of the world has been shown to have a direct impact on this as it nancially encourages people to carpool or travel at di erent times of the day.
“As long as the system devised is fair and equitable across all road users, the road transport industry is fully supportive of using pricing to help change motorist’s behaviour.
“e reality is, of course, that freight rates will be forced to increase with the additional cost of road pricing for Auckland transport operators. However, as a country with some of the lowest freight rates in the world, most consumers will appreciate the necessity of any rate rise,” says Shirley.
Finance Minister Steven Joyce says that new ways of managing demand on the roads to help ease congestion need to be considered, “alongside our current multi-billion dollar transport investment in Auckland. Smarter transport pricing has the potential to be part of the solution.”
However, Joyce says that “any decision on the use of a demand management tool like road pricing is still some years o .”
e RTF wants to see some urgency in solving Auckland’s tra c congestion problems